AUTHOR'S NOTE I was born in Moscow on March 17, 1908 but I grew up in the town of Tver (which has been renamed Kalinin). That, I feel, gives me grounds for considering myself a native of Kalinin. My father, a barrister-at-law, died of tuberculosis in 1916. I scarcely remember him, but judging from the fine library of classical Russian and foreign literature that he had put together and from what I heard from my mother, he must have been a progressive and widely-read man for his day. After his death, my mother, who was a doctor, went to work in a factory hospital and we moved to the houses belonging to the huge Morozov Textile Mill. There I spent my childhood and youth. We lived in the "houses for employees", but I had friends among the workers' children and went to school with them. My mother was often too busy at the hospital to give me any of her time, and so I spent most of the day with my friends in the workers' "bedrooms", as the hostels were called at that time, and on the outskirts of the settlements. In general, I did quite well at school, but I had no particular enthusiasm. My spare time was divided between the Tmaka, a grimy little factory stream, and the books from my father's library. Gorky was my favourite author. When my father and mother were students they worshipped him, and the family library contained almost all of his pre-revolutionary works. The town's newspaper was called Tverskaya Pravda. A large worker-correspondents' organisation was set up at the factory in the 1920s and a branch editorial office was opened in the pump-house. We boys were awed by the people entering or coming out of that small brick building. They were worker-correspondents! They wrote for the newspaper. A fitter, who was the chairman of that organisation, became one of the most popular men at the factory.